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The First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, has today, (24 June 2019), officially opened University of the West of Scotland’s (UWS) award-winning Lanarkshire campus.

The culmination of a two-year project and £110 million investment, UWS Lanarkshire represents a sector-defining step change in the delivery of higher education and is one of the UK’s most modern and sustainable learning environments.

At a special ceremony attended by students, staff and invited guests, including UWS’ Chancellor, the Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Craig Mahoney, the First Minister declared the state-of-the-art Campus open.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “With top-class teaching spaces and state-of-the-art labs hosted in buildings that are entirely powered by renewables the new UWS Lanarkshire Campus is a fantastic addition to Scotland’s higher education sector.

“It was a pleasure to officially open the campus and hear from students who are benefitting from the new facilities which are expected to bring a major economic boost to the region over the next few decades."

“By focusing on providing practical and immersive training, the UWS Lanarkshire Campus is helping students to get the real-life experience and confidence they need to enter into the workforce.”
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “We are delighted the First Minister has officially opened UWS’ Lanarkshire campus, marking a truly momentous occasion in our University’s rich history.

“From the outset, UWS Lanarkshire was designed to embody our vision of providing students and staff with a sustainable, dynamic, innovative and highly creative environment, engaging them in personalised, collaborative, technology-rich and exciting academic experiences which we were proud to show the First Minister during her visit today."

“At UWS, we are constantly innovating, both in our ground-breaking research and enterprise activity but also in our world-leading learning and teaching approaches. Today we displayed to the First Minister how our vision has become a reality in our Lanarkshire campus and we look forward to witnessing the impact the campus will have for generations to come.”
UWS Principal Prof Craig Mahoney

The First Minister was greeted on campus by Professor Craig Mahoney and 3rd year Adult Nursing student, Arlene Allison, and went on to meet with a range of students and staff who spoke about the many benefits of learning at the new facility which was named winner of the prestigious 2019 Guardian University Awards in the category of ‘Sustainable Buildings That Inspire’.

During a tour, the First Minister was able to experience first-hand the Campus’ innovative, dynamic and collaborative learning and teaching spaces, including its state-of-the-art environmental chamber. UWS’s environmental chamber is one of only two in the country and replicates environmental extremes, such as temperature and altitude, enabling students to study and research the effects these elements have on the human body.

Professional athletes can also use the chamber to train ahead of intense sporting events and UWS recently had the honour of working with the Scottish Women’s Football Team who used the chamber to prepare for the World Cup in France as well as quadruple amputee Corinne Hutton who trained in the facility ahead of her ascent to Mount Kilimanjaro. The First Minister also toured the campus’ cutting-edge nursing and midwifery training facilities, which are the most modern in Scotland.

Guests on the day took part in an interactive showcase which highlighted just some of the amazing work of UWS students and the ground-breaking and globally-relevant research underway at the University in areas including eye-care, drone technology, artificial intelligence, thin films and sensors, 5G networking, arthritis and dementia care.

Guests also learned about the University’s commitment to integrating industry with academia, and its ambition to continue to grow its reach and recognition across the world in the form of knowledge transfer and training partnerships, a vision the new Lanarkshire campus fully embodies.

UWS’ Creative Arts students also delivered live performances including a set by Paolo Nutini Scholar, Rachel Jack, a UWS Commercial Music student.

Stephen Lewis, Managing Director at HFD Property Group, the University’s partner developers, said: “We’re pleased to have delivered a modern, fit-for-purpose campus for UWS. Recognising that flexibility is a priority for both staff and students, we mirrored this adaptable approach throughout the project, collaborating closely with UWS to deliver on their aspirations.”